“New Year, New You” is an ongoing blog series focused on on getting your mind, body and spirit ready for dating in 2013. The series will feature posts by Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and scientific advisor for Chemistry.com, Bela Gandhi, Dating Coach and President of Smart Dating Academy, and Amanda Ebner, M.A.; M.Ed.; and personal trainer for FitOrbit.com, an online personal training resource.

By Bela Gandhi, Dating Coach and President of Smart Dating Academy

Does the thought of a first date bring sweat to your brow and stress you out?  If so, you’re not alone. Dating today has become more challenging than in the past.  With a proliferation of ways to meet people, we often have higher expectations of our dates, and easily “screen people out” after a first date.Before you get anxious at the thought of being screened out by your date, take a deep breath and relax! Acing the first date and making a great first impression is a skill that can be easily mastered. Here are five easy ways to putting your best foot forward on a first date:

  1. Dress to Impress. In general, men like feminine women, and women like masculine men!  Men – dress to impress in a nice sport coat, dark jeans, and crisp dress shirt.   Women, wear a pretty blouse/skirt or a dress. It will NOT look like you are trying too hard – your date will appreciate it!
  2. Smile.  Happy, confident people attract the most people. To truly smile on the outside, you need to get to your “happy place” mentally before the date! Think about the excitement of meeting someone who might be “it”, or do something you love before the date to put you in a good mood!
  3. Like your date first. My Mom taught me that the best way to get someone to like you is to like them first. It’s a complete mindset shift. Look for what you like in your date, vs. what you don’t like.  Be genuinely interested in getting to know them, be an active listener, and ask good questions about something your date likes/is interested in.
  4. Compliment away!  We all love to hear nice things about ourselves; it’s human nature! Now that you’ve already decided to look for what’s good about your date, share something positive about them.  A sincere compliment or two goes a LONG way and will leave your date feeling good long after the night has ended.
  5. Be positive and prepared. Say NOTHING negative about anyone or anything on a date – not about the food, your job, the cab driver, anything. Instead, think of unique stories about yourself that are fun and light.  Vacations, hobbies, jobs are also great topics.  Discussing pop culture, current events (except politics!), sports teams, and books are also great sources of first date conversations!   Leave all baggage and dramatic conversation at home!

The best part? Practice makes perfect, even in dating! Start practicing many of these tips today, even with people in your “real life” – so that when you get on a first date, you will confidently ace it!

Happy Dating!

3 responses to “New Year, New You: Spirit – Six Foolproof Ways to Ace the First Date by Bela Gandhi”

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    Great advice. Thank you.

  3. Derrick Drew says:

    I don’t think I would even waste time “comparing” things I like about them with things I don’t like. Train your brain and thus your thoughts to not even contemplate on the dislikes. If you think about it, you can’t help but relate it outwardly even slightly unless you feel you possess a professional’s “poker face” smiling.

    Consider how you treat your real friends, the way you naturally with ease simply brush off their inequities as if they are not even there, you get use to those just being around them all the time. Do this with a first date and maybe we will find that we actually treat them as a close friend, and that’s always a plus+ for letting them feel totally comfortable around you without them feeling you’re using a facade or guise, which can easily present the opposite and unwanted effect!